We may be able to slow it down, but we can never contain, control or comprehend it. It’s the machines’ market now; we just trade in it. -- Wired Magazine – Bull vs. Bear vs. Bot, Jan 2011
The above quote comes from January’s dead tree version of Wired Magazine in a multi-page featurette on the state of artificial intelligence. While AI isn’t quite what the futurists of the 1960s imagined, we are completely dependent on it forevermore. Using a comprehensive suite of sensors and algorithms, machines are using the scientific method to test the world around them and learning from their mistakes. These same principles can be used to make the perfect PC portfolio in time for Lenovo to debut at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. A lot of the foundation we need is already in place. Intel heavily relies on computers to design its next generation of processors. If PCs can design complex CPUs, something as “simple” as a notebook computer can’t be that out of reach. All it takes is data. Lenovo sells a large number of notebook PCs, many of which have overlapping features and specs. We get massive amounts of sales telemetry data from lenovo.com, our business partners, and our retail storefronts. In addition, Lenovo gets lots of industry-specific data from amalgamators like International Data Corporation (IDC) which can slice and dice any number of ways by geography, product specification, (and many more). There IS a statistical correlation in all of this. The mechanics of thermal airflow, electrical subsystems, durability, and all of the other things that go into making a pile of disparate components a functioning PC can likewise be quantified. The hardest part would be industrial design (how the product physically looks), but even this problem isn’t insurmountable if you break it down into component data pieces. Aesthetics are quantifiable in terms of thickness, material composition, curvature, color, and so on. Researchers have demonstrated this is possible for the human face. My Lenovo Product Manager counterparts of 2015 will simply put the price points they want to target into a spreadsheet. Our Lenovo Product Manager 3000 system will take all variables into account and produce customized machines for each country we do business in. In the right quantities. At the right time. This would even make product delivery delays a thing of the past. And wouldn’t THAT be cool?